Days earlier than OpenAI demonstrated its new, flirty voice assistant final week, the actress Scarlett Johansson mentioned, Sam Altman, the corporate’s chief government, referred to as her agent and requested that she take into account licensing her voice for a digital assistant.

It was his second request to the actress up to now yr, Ms. Johannson mentioned in an announcement on Monday, including that the reply each occasions was no.

Regardless of these refusals, Ms. Johansson mentioned, OpenAI used a voice that sounded “eerily similar to mine.” She has employed a lawyer and requested OpenAI to cease utilizing a voice it referred to as “Sky.”

OpenAI suspended its release of “Sky” over the weekend. The corporate mentioned in a blog post on Sunday that “AI voices shouldn’t intentionally mimic a star’s distinctive voice — Sky’s voice shouldn’t be an imitation of Scarlett Johansson however belongs to a distinct skilled actress utilizing her personal pure talking voice.”

Within the 2013 film “Her,” a lonely introvert named Theodore, performed by Joaquin Phoenix, is seduced by a digital assistant named Samantha, voiced by Ms. Johansson. Final week, Mr. Altman appeared to nod to the similarity in a post on X with the only phrase “her.”

OpenAI mentioned it couldn’t share the names of its voice professionals for privateness causes. It mentioned it had labored with unidentified administrators and producers to develop 5 voices for its product: Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky. The voices have been recorded final summer season in San Francisco.

Ms. Johansson’s assertion was reported earlier by NPR’s Bobby Allyn.

Ms. Johansson is the newest high-profile particular person to criticize OpenAI for utilizing artistic work with out permission. Over the previous yr, OpenAI has been sued for copyright violations by authors, actors and newspapers, together with the Authors Guild of America and The New York Instances, which sued OpenAI and its companion, Microsoft.

It is a growing story. Test again for updates.

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